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Mikhail Prokhorov: Stay the course, be patient

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mikhail Prokhorov has repeatedly said he will do what's necessary to make the Nets a winner. His press conferences and e-mail exchanges with writers and NetsDaily often contain one variation or another of two themes:  "I'm very committed to the team. I'll continue to do and find all the best I can get for the team" and "we will surprise our doubters."

In an email exchange with Andy Vasquez of The Record Monday, the Nets owner added the need for patience, not something the Nets have been known for over the last five years, and studiously avoided other issues, like his confidence in his front office and coaching staff..

"It’s simply too early to draw any conclusions about the team," Prokhorov told The Record by email on Monday. "We have a lot of new players and quite a few younger pieces, so it takes some time for the team to gel and to show its full potential.

"I I think we’ve seen some positive progress," Prokhorov added in the email. "And my hope is that these efforts will soon be reflected in the wins column."

But he didn't answer a number of questions Vasquez posed.  Prokhorov did not address a question asking if he’s satisfied with the job performance of Billy King and Lionel Hollins. King is in the final year of his contract and there have been repeated rumors that he will be extended before the end of his deal this summer.

In his video exchange with NetsDaily just before the season began, he said, "I am very glad to be working with Billy. He has managed to pull off a lot of unexpected deals in line with the guidance that ownership has given him. I think we had an excellent off-season this year and I do believe that it will bring success this season."

Nor did he address questions about the Nets' lack of future first round draft picks and the drop-off in attendance ... or the Knicks rise, spurred by the arrival of a star in Kristaps Porzingis.

Prokhorov, of course, is as hamstrung by the Nets lack of flexibility as those he works for. There's little he can do under the CBA to improve the team's situation.  Some in the organization think that he and Nets chairman Dmitry Razumov will not let the Nets be "really bad," but no one is suggesting just how they would do that.